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January 27, 2012

Article featuring ULM's Wendel Ray and MFT archives goes global

An article featuring the highly respected Don D. Jackson Archive and its curator Dr. Wendel Ray, two Marriage and Family Therapy treasures both found at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, has gone global as it ran recently in the Milton H. Erickson Foundation newsletter, reaching about 20,000 subscribers internationally.

The article, titled "Don D. Jackson Archives: A Treasure Trove for MFT Scholars and Researchers" was originally submitted to the foundation newsletter in October 2011 by its authors, Keli Jacobi, writer and ULM master's student in history, and Ray, a senior research fellow at the Mental Research Institute and professor of Family System Theory in the ULM MFT program.

Ray's knowledge of the contributions of Jackson and other seminal members of the MFT field, along with frequent trips around the world presenting research about Family System Theory, has provided excellent material for the many students he has taught through the years, not to mention experts worldwide who seek out the invaluable historical documents housed at the archives.

"Now more than ever before with the complexity of problems facing us and the break neck speed of life of this present moment in time, the systemic theory articulated by Don Jackson, M.D., and his colleagues about how everyone and everything is connected in comprehensible ways, and the time proven methods of problem resolution (Couple and Family Therapy and Brief Therapy) that emerged from this way of thinking are of vital relevance," Ray said.

"Students, researchers and scholars who study materials in the Jackson Archive find hope and confidence they can make a difference. I am delighted to see growing interest from around the globe in System thinking and the Don D. Jackson Archive."

As mentioned in the article, "Thousands of original audio recordings, video recordings, and original paper documents, including unpublished materials from numerous completed research projects compete to fill the space in a humble, but inviting room, located on the first floor of ULM's Strauss Hall . . . hundreds of rare photographs, first edition books and original articles also fill the space."

Significant contributions from other leading MFT theorists and therapists may also be found in the collection.

The article continued: "These materials provide doctoral students and other scholars of communication/interactional/
cybernetic theory, family theory and therapy, and brief therapy, such historical scope and depth that it has supported the work of 20 dissertations; 12 at ULM and additional dissertations by researchers at universities including Harvard, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Nova Southeastern."

The addition of documents and expenses incurred by operating the Jackson Archive is funded primarily through private donations and other external funding sources, and by the ULM College of Education via provision of space, equipment and graduate students.

The article about Dr. Ray and the Don D. Jackson Archives is available as a downloadable PDF.

For information and controlled access to the archive, interested parties may contact Ray at

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